In 1993, in the wake of his fourth solo album Dangerous, Jackson was accused of molesting a young boy. Because this both contradicted his image as a friend to children and was not implausible in light of the various rumors of his extreme eccentricity — in particular, his alarming changes in appearance over the past 15 years, chalked up to plastic surgery and the skin disorder vitiligo — it made international headlines. Evidence was too slim to actually prosecute, considering the questionable circumstances of the allegations, and Jackson settled a civil suit out-of-court over the matter. Since then, he was less known for his artistic output (HIStory , Blood on the Dance Floor , and Invincible  - which still all went platinum several times) than his ever-strange personal behavior: a brief marriage to Elvis Presley's daughter, dangling one of his children (an infant at the time) over a Berlin hotel railing to show him to fans, and a second round of molestation allegations which unfolded over 2003-05 resulting in a not guilty verdict. The media's selective portrayal of him as a complete freak for the rest of his life served to further-tarnish his already downtrodden reputation.
Sadly, Jackson died due to a cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50, a few weeks before the start of a long-awaited series of shows in London that were to serve as a comeback. His death occurred during an almost surreal two-week period between June 21 and July 4, 2009 which was densely populated by celebrity deaths including those of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Sky Saxon, Billy Mays, Mollie Sugden, Harve Presnell, Karl Malden, Steve McNair, and possibly even David Carradine (though he died two weeks earlier). His death has now, shockingly, been ruled a homicide.
Somewhat ironically, in the wake of his death, general public opinion seems to have begun taking a full circle, and to regard him as, even if still extremely weird in his later personal life, one of the unassailably greatest performing artists of all time; as in, all human history.